Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1950 • United States
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Lund, Jane Cowl
Mitchell Leisen took a detour into noir territory with this dark drama based on a novel by pulp existentialist Cornell Woolrich. Pregnant, unmarried, and without hope for the future, Helen Ferguson (Barbara Stanwyck) finds herself offered a chance at a new life when a twist of fate leads to her being mistaken for the newlywed bride of a wealthy man, both of whom were killed in a train accident. Assuming the dead woman’s identity, Helen embarks on a dangerous deception that spirals into blackmail and murder. Stanwyck’s powerhouse performance is the engine that drives this lushly stylized journey into fatalistic dread.